“Mystification is simple; clarity is the hardest thing of all,” wrote Julian Barnes in Flaubert’s Parrot.
Thanks to Mariana Liz, who is Lecturer in Film Studies in the Centre for World Cinemas in the University of Leeds, co-editor of The Europeanness of European Cinema (2014) and author of Euro-Visions: Europe in European Cinema (2015), for providing this concise and crystal-clear abstract for The Routledge Companion to World Cinema.
Western European Cinema in the Age of Globalization
Early studies of the cinemas of Europe were especially focused on single nations or sole auteurs. Since the 1990s, however, as the European integration process moved forward and the transnational gained currency as an analytical framework, European cinema has emerged as an object of study in its own right. The aim of this chapter is to situate the two major debates that have characterized the study of European cinema: art vs. popular on the one hand; Europe vs. Hollywood on the other. The chapter examines the evolution of this discussion in the past two decades, questioning what place the cinemas of Europe occupy in today’s globalized world.